Even after playing in his first game back at Fenway Park since being traded by the Red Sox in 2020, Mookie Betts is still saying hello to some old friends.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, Betts met up with Hall of Famer and former teammate David Ortiz in the Red Sox’ dugout.
“My dog,” Ortiz began after he dapped up Betts.
“Just trying to be like you one day,” Betts said.
Ortiz had a message he wanted to share with Betts.
“Last night, when you walked to the plate and I saw the ovation you got from the fans, that made me feel like I wanted to be here, clapping for you,” Ortiz said as he clapped his hands together.
After Betts thanked Oritz, his former teammate continued to praise him.
“You [more than] deserve all of that,” Ortiz said.
The strong bond between Ortiz and Betts dates back to when the two began their time as teammates in 2014, the year Betts was called up to the major. Ortiz took the then-youngster under his wing, referring to him as his “little brother” on multiple occasions as Betts has called him his “big bro” over the years.
Ortiz also advocated for Betts to receive a major contract ahead of the 2020 season, even if it meant having to be traded away from the Red Sox to do it, saying then “he has to get what he deserves.”
The Red Sox traded Betts to the Dodgers in February 2020 and five months later, he signed a 12-year, $365 million extension.
Ortiz still expressed disappointment though that the Red Sox traded away Betts during the 2020 World Series, where he helped lead the Dodgers to a title.
“I wasn’t the GM,” Ortiz said when asked why the Red Sox traded Betts during an appearance on Fox’s MLB studio show that year. “I would have given some of my salary to sign him.
“It is what it is. Dodgers, enjoy Mookie!”
When Ortiz found out he was being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2022, Betts was one of many to share a heartfelt message for the Red Sox icon.
“Big bro!!! That didn’t take long 😅,” Betts wrote in an Instagram post. “you deserve all the good that has came and is coming your way! Thank you for your continuous guidance beyond the game! Love you 34!”
In addition to meeting up with Ortiz, Betts also said hello to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who coached him for two seasons with the Red Sox.
Betts soaked in his first game back at Fenway on Friday, receiving a standing ovation that lasted well over 30 seconds in his first at-bat.
“I was kind of shaking a little bit. I’m just thankful. Thankful that I got the ovation and thankful that we won,” Betts told reporters following the Dodgers’ victory Friday. “I tried to take all my expectations out and just enjoy what came. I really didn’t know what to expect. It was super cool and a very special moment. I’ll cherish and remember it for the rest of my life.”
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